As the search for Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccines intensifies, there are at least 20 coronavirus vaccines in the pipeline. However, Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Moderna (MRNA), the stocks of the leaders in the race, tumbled as the week came to the end.
Coronavirus alias COVID-19 is the virus that has taken the humankind hostage for the past two months. It has led to most biotech companies to push beyond their limits in the search for a vaccine. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) officials confirmed that there are at least 20 coronavirus vaccines in the pipeline globally. The leaders of this race are Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: GILD) and Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA).
The virus is spreading like a forest fire, putting into perspective it has been in existence for less than five months since it was first reported in China. At the time of writing, the virus that damages the lungs had infected over 308,000 people globally, while the number of fatalities totalled more than 13, 000. The virus has been reported in 188 countries, areas or territories, according to data from the World Health Organization.
During a press conference by the technical lead for WHO, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, in Geneva, he said:
“The acceleration of this process is really truly dramatic in terms of what we are able to do, building on work that started with SARS, that started with MERS and now is being used for COVID-19.”
However, the officials cautioned that the vaccines are still in a long way from being approved to be used publicly. According to their scientist, the clinical trials and safety approvals could take up to one and a half years.
It is a precautionary measure that Dr. Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO emergencies program, confirmed. He emphasized that there is only one thing more dangerous than a bad virus, and that is a bad vaccine. In addition, it is also because the vaccine will be injected into most of the world’s population.
Ryan commended China and other countries that shared the genetic sequence of coronavirus with the rest of the world in time to do combined research teamwork.
Gilead and Moderna Lead the Way of Coronavirus Vaccines
In the lead for the search of coronavirus vaccines are Gilead Sciences (GILD), and Moderna Inc (MRNA). Gilead offers Remdesivir, which failed in the treatment of Ebola, while Moderna is working on its mRNA-1273. The two companies have advanced in the test phases of the vaccine on human.
As a result, their stock markets value has soared in the past two months in anticipation the regulatory bodies will approve their drugs. However, Gilead (GILD) stock trading at $73.26, as of March 20, 19:59 EDT, saw a drop of almost 6%. But Gilead stock has risen 0.60% after trading hours to hit $73.70.
On the other hand, Moderna (MRNA) stock did not sharply fall, however, it dropped 0.25% to trade at $28.20 at the close of the market on March 20, 19:58 EDT. In the after-hours, it is trading at $28.90, which is a + $0.70, reciprocating to 2.48%.